A £25m five-year contract to service Northern Ireland's courts is being challenged in the High Court.
The £25m contract was to service Northern Ireland's courts
Maybin Property Services was awarded the contract to provide security and ancilliary services.
But soon after winning the contract last year it was revealed that the company's security licence had expired several months previously.
Federal Security Services, which came second in the tendering process, said it should have been given the contract.
It claimed the NIO acted unlawfully in giving the contract to Maybin when the firm did not have a valid licence at the time of the tender submission.
The High Court was also told that a file had been forwarded by the police to the Public Prosecution Service on how Maybin was able to operate for a number of months without a licence.
The case is due to be heard next month.
Within days of the Maybin licence lapse becoming public knowledge, the Northern Ireland Office issued a new licence, which requires employees to be vetted if they are working in sensitive positions.